One of the very few books I have reread.
Andrew Keen’s book is a brilliant critique of social networking as we know it.
Keen did his research – be that it looking back to ancient philosophers, the history of computing, social change in the US and globally – and has managed to explain much of what has happened.
The book is interesting in that he builds it (1) around his interactions at a conference in Oxford, with a number of the ’leading lights’ of social networking and (2) the characters of Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, ‘Vertigo’. He quotes widely from those who promote the benefits of social networking and those, like himself, who doubt its real value.
He does not mince his words (P118) – ‘you see, social media has been so ubiquitous, so much the connective tissue of society that we’ve all become like Scottie Ferguson, victims of a creepy story that we neither understand nor control…It’s a postindustrial truth of increasingly weak community and a rampant individualism of super-nodes and super-connectors’.
The references alone could tie you up for weeks. But I believe he has done all of us a service in highlighting what’s wrong with much of what is being put over as good for society. Well worth taking the time to read.